Factors Affecting the Participation of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in e-Learning and Their Satisfaction: A Quantitative Study

January 13, 2018

Today the digital divide is measured not so much by access to the internet but by people’s ability to interact in cyberspace, which calls for specific digital communication skills. These skills are also required for participation in e-learning, bearing in mind that the deaf and hard of hearing have certain characteristics related to their condition.  This study aims to identify inequalities in access to e-learning by those who are deaf or hard of hearing, observe how they are related to social and demographic factors, and confirm whether the accessibility of the e-learning environment has a direct influence on their satisfaction. The study has been conducted via an electronic survey in Spain with a non-probabilistic sample, in line with the characteristics of this sector of the population, recording social and demographic data, and information about the participants’ experience of e-learning and their satisfaction with the experience. The representative survey sample consisted of 484 deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in Spain, aged between 16 and 64. Using a chi-square test for independence we obtained a significant relationship between participation in online courses and the following variables: level of education, knowledge of sign language, and number of members in the household. A correspondence analysis was then carried out to detect particular relationships between classes of the related variables.

International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning